Entera Intelligent Middleware
Entera is a powerful middleware product designed specifically to support multi-tier client server development on an enterprise scale. NXTera provides an upgrade path for Entera users who need to support new operating systems, modern development languages and virtualization.
Today, Fortune 500 companies using Entera are updating their valuable Entera-based applications to support the Internet and Web services with NXTera a plug and play update to Entera.
Existing Entera C, COBOL and FORTRAN applications can easily support: Java and C#; while inter-operating with .Net, SOAP, HTTP and REST Web services using NXTera. Existing Delphi and PowerBuild apps can be updated to support the latest versions and new Web interfaces. Using the NXTera workbench, new client libraries and interfaces can be generated with no legacy expertise or training.
Improving legacy distributed development
Entera is a middleware framework used with rapid application development tools to build enterprise-class distributed applications. Entera middleware implements services that automate and simplify many of the challenges involved in developing and deploying distributed applications, such as:
- Cross-platform communications
- Secure communication services
- Cross- language and development tool communications
Using Entera middleware, developers and architects build secure multi-tiered business applications using a variety of development tools such as COBOL, C, C++, Visual Basic, Delphi and other 4GLs.
Features and benefits
Entera has a number of features that enable client server programmers to easily create enterprise applications in COBOL, Fortran, Pascal, Perl, Basic, Delphi, C/C++. Entera was known as "Intelligent Middleware" because it had many middleware advances over DCE (the most popular middleware at the time). Still in use today by hundreds of Fortune 500 companies, Entera and NXTera is the premier RPC middleware in the industry.
The major differentiation from other RPC middleware at the time for Entera was the three tier design where the business logic applications were separated from the database and the database had its own data access engine powered by SQL. The data access engine enabled users to define SQL statement to APIs and process these SQL files with Oracle, Sybase, Informix, SQLSERVER, DB2, Ingres and Adabase database engines. Also unique to Entera was an extremely fast naming service capable of connecting client and server applications configurable in many different modes: hierarchical, master/slave and multiple redundant brokers. With Entera, developers could deliver solutions with shorter and less expensive development cycles, compared to other RPC development tools. Applications developed with Entera, DCE, TCP-IP, EZ-RPC,and ONC-RPC can easily be upgraded to NXTera.
- rpcbroker - very fast naming service for RPC middleware applications
- rpcmake - IDL compiler for Fortran, C, C++, Cobol, perl, Delphi, Basic.
- data access engine - SQL engine for Oracle, DB2, Sybase, Informix, SQLSERVER, Ingress, Adabas.
- tpmake - transaction processing IDL compiler
- Appminder - application monitor to restart applications automatically
Evolution: Entera to NXTera
NXTera is eCube’s contemporary update of the Entera platform. It provides an operational update to legacy Entera applications. NXTera middleware delivers improvements in performance, operating system and database support for existing applications based on Entera.
NXTera benefits from eCube’s deep understanding of Entera internals. Based on that understanding and customer feedback, eCube has identified the functionality, performance and support issues that place the greatest limits on Entera’s usability and extensibility. With this information, eCube re-engineered and improved the base Entera platform. These changes, implemented in NXTera, range from ports to new platforms, to long standing bug fixes, new data handling features, to the complete re-engineering of core runtime modules.
An important improvement provided by eCube’s engineers completely re-engineered Entera Data access, transport and parsing modules. The outcome was more pro-format and flexible data access, ready to meet today’s high throughput requirements. Some users saw a 42% increase in data-centric processing over Entera.
NXTera improves Entera Memory Management : Over time, application usage has a way of increasing and exceeding original expectations. Mergers, regulatory changes and increased usage can place stress on legacy Entera systems -- and their managers. NXTera has addressed these performance issues by re-engineering Entera memory management and the hash table architecture of the runtime in NXTera.
The combined benefits of the work can be seen in these results derived NXTera /Entera comparative tests performed by multiple customers.
- 35% performance increase in memory intensive tasks over Entera
- 25% performance Increase when handling large datasets
- 45% performance increase when handling many small datasets
Implementation: NXTera / Entera Implementation
NXTera Middleware is source code compatible with Entera, which means individual portions of an existing Entera infrastructure may be updated independently of others. For instance, the data access portion of a system can be updated with out changing the client or server runtimes. (See Figure 1:) The same is true when a user decides to update the server runtime and data access portion and not change the client.
NXTera’s new NXTware-based development tools help you build high-speed service-base applications without worrying about the communications routines that link them together. Business applications developed using Entera operate independently of the underlying network infrastructure.
However, even when the legacy Entera client applications need to be updated, NXTera provides simple source code upgrades, web services and web facing options that lower the cost of updating these user-facing systems. Updated applications often only require installation and recompilation.
Updated supported platforms for the client, server and data implementations and the source files that have been modified:
Client Platform Support
- Windows Vista , XP Professional
- Latest Version of: PowerBuilder, Delphi , VB.NET, CBuilder, Java
- Web Services
- Latest Versions of: HP, SUN, IBM, REDHAT (LINUX). SUSUI(LINUX), Windows, SGI
- Latest versions of: Oracle , DB2, Sybase, Informix, MS SQL, MY SQL and JDBC